iLocal News Archives

Al Gore on climate change: ‘Extreme weather events are a game changer’

al-gore_WEF_webBy Ann-Marie Alcantara From Mashable

Climate change made an appearance at the 44th annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, thanks to former Vice-President Al Gore and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. The two world figures commented on how extreme weather events are intensifying global awareness of the climate change phenomenon.

The weather events they mentioned include the likes of the recent typhoon Haiyan and Hurricane Sandy, both of which caused huge economic and human damage.

“I think that these extreme weather events which are now a hundred times more common than 30 years ago are really waking people’s awareness all over the world [on climate change], and I think that is a game changer, “ said Gore, as reported by The Guardian.

“Even with business leadership, we will need governmental actions, we need to put a price on carbon, we need to put a price on [climate change] denial in politics,” he said.

Bill Gates continued the conversation by raising the issue of how climate change and development are interlinked. When we talk about climate change, development problems around energy use and consumption should also take center stage.

“As the poorest are being lifted up, as they’re getting lights and refrigerators, we are going to use more energy,” said Gates. “There’s not a scenario here where we use less energy. We have to make the energy we use not emit any greenhouse gases, particularly CO2.”

Both men were part of a climate change panel at the World Economic Forum, joined by the likes of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Erna Solberg, the Prime Minster of Norway, and other global leaders. The panel, titled “Changing the Climate for Growth and Development,” put climate change at the forefront of the nonprofit’s annual meeting. The full discussion is embedded below.

2014, increasingly becoming known as the “Climate Year” due to a United Nations summit on climate change at the General Assembly later this year, is already having its fair share of climate issues around the world.

California’s drought, possibly the worst in 100-years, is shedding new light on water scarcity issues, while the East Coast braced itself for a second polar vortex and snowstorm that showed no mercy with freezing temperatures and at least one death. On the other side of the world, Australia continues to deal with their intense summer heat, now with added risks to their drinking water.

The increased awareness around climate change comes at a time when big profile names like Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh and various U.S. congressmen are still denying the very existence of any larger environmental pattern. They point to extremely cold weather events like the polar vortex as reasons why climate change appears to be a hoax.

These comments grabbed attention: NASA Earth and the Union of Concerned Scientists responded back, poking holes in their logic.

What people like Trump tend to leave out, the scientists indicate, is a key difference between climate change and weather: the measurement of time (more on that from NASA). Weather is an everyday event over a short period of time, whereas climate change is a larger weather trend over a much longer time-frame.

Gore’s suggestion is, as these instances of extreme weather increase, it will likely become harder to deny or ignore their role in a rapidly changing climate.

PHOTO: Former Vice-President of the United States Al Gore, right, speaking during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Friday Jan 30, 2009. IMAGE: VIRGINIA MAYO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

For more on this story and to watch the video go to:



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *